- Aang’s journey to master the four elements and bring balance to the world is filled with highs and lows, ultimately proving why he is the key to saving the world.
- Aang’s encounters with emotional moments, such as discovering the horrors of the Fire Nation’s war and the grief of losing his mentor, showcase his growth and power as the Avatar.
- Aang’s ability to enter the Avatar State, commune with his past lives, fuse with the Ocean Spirit, and ultimately defeat Fire Lord Ozai demonstrates his immense power and ability to save the world without sacrificing his moral code.
Throughout Nickelodeon’s original Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series, Aang boasts more than a few impressive displays of power that prove he’s not an Avatar to be trifled with. Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the three-season ATLA centers on Aang, a 12-year-old boy who’s both the titular Avatar — a being who can bend all four elements — and the only remaining airbender in the world. A century before the show begins, the power-hungry Fire Nation commits genocide against the Air Nomads, hoping to snuff out the recently reincarnated Avatar, so that, eventually, they’re reborn into the Fire Nation.
Aang manages to escape the Fire Nation’s purge; after being in a strange stasis for 100 years, he’s discovered by Water Tribe siblings, wannabe-warrior Sokka and waterbender-in-training Katara. With his new friends’ help, Aang travels the world in the hopes of mastering all four elements. As the Avatar, he’s also tasked with bringing balance to the world — and that means ending the 100-Year War and putting an end to Fire Lord Ozai’s conquest. Although Aang’s journey is full of highs and lows, the young Avatar proves time and again why he’s the key to saving the world.
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10 Aang & Zuko Learn To Firebend From The Original Masters
Book 3, Episode 13, “The Firebending Masters”
In Book 3, several members of Team Avatar have one-on-one field trips with their most recent addition: Zuko, the banished Fire Nation prince who spent most of the series hunting Aang down in order to restore his honor. Committed to ending his father’s reign, Zuko offers to train Aang in the ways of Firebending. Cut off from his bending, Zuko embarks on a quest to learn from the original masters of the craft: Dragons. Thankfully, Aang goes along for the ride. The duo’s quest culminates in a beautifully animated moment; surrounded by multicolored flames, both warriors find their inner-strength and perfectly execute the legendary Dragon Dance.
9 Aang Is Overcome With Emotion At The Southern Air Temple
Book 1, Episode 3, “The Southern Air Temple”
Although Aang is aware that 100 years have passed while he was frozen in an iceberg, it still proves difficult to be confronted with the horrors of the Fire Nation’s war. In Book 1, Aang is happy-go-lucky — very much a child who, unlike Katara and Sokka, hasn’t been hardened by years of fighting and genocide. When Aang brings his friends to the Southern Air Temple and finds evidence of the Fire Nation’s purge — including the remains of his former mentor and father figure — the Avatar’s grief overwhelms him. Aang enters the iconic, all-powerful Avatar State, demonstrating his most fearsome abilities for the first time.
8 Aang Fights The Sandbenders To Save Appa
Book 2, Episode 11, “The Desert”
Toward the middle of Book 2: Earth, Aang and the rest of Team Avatar meet a wayward scholar who’s looking for a legendary library hidden in the desert. While the rest of the group ventures into the buried library in search of valuable war-ending information, Toph stays top-side with Appa. Of course, the group upsets the library’s spirit guardian, Wan Shi Tong, and he tries to trap them. As Toph struggles to keep the library from sinking, opportunistic sandbenders abduct Appa. Needless to say, Aang is livid that his buddy was bison-napped. When he finally confronts the sandbenders, the Avatar doesn’t show mercy.
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7 Aang Masters The Avatar State
Book 2, Episode 20, “The Crossroads of Destiny”
While training with Guru Pathik, Aang learns that in order to open his final chakra, he needs to sever some of his earthly tethers — like his romantic feelings for Katara. Aang decides his crush is more important and forgoes the rest of the training. By the end of Book 2, Aang realizes he must enter the Avatar State to save Katara, but, to do that, he has to let go of his feelings for her. It’s an emotional, epic moment, and Aang’s mastery of the Avatar State is crucial to the series finale. However, this first brush with power is cut short when Azula strikes Aang with lightning.
6 Aang Communes With His Past Lives & A Lion Turtle
Book 3, Episode 18, “Sozin’s Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King”
Struggling with how, exactly, to stop Fire Lord Ozai without outright killing him, Aang gets in touch with his past lives. This act alone is pretty epic. Not only does Aang connect with his pseudo-mentor Avatar Roku, but older Avatars, like the no-nonsense Avatar Kyoshi. When no one presents Aang with an alternative path, he ends up on a solo journey that brings him face-to-face with an ancient Lion Turtle. As viewers learn in The Legend of Korra, Lion Turtles were responsible for bestowing bending upon humans. Ultimately, Aang’s connection with the Lion Turtle helps him learn to take away Ozai’s bending — for good.
5 Aang Fuses With The Ocean Spirit
Book 1, Episode 20, “The Siege of the North, Part 2”
In the two-part Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 1 finale, the Fire Nation lays siege to the Northern Water Tribe. The ambitious, power-hungry Admiral Zhao ends up infiltrating the tribe’s Spirit Oasis and killing Tui, the physical manifestation of the Moon Spirit. In doing so, Zhao slays the moon and takes away the source of the Water Tribe’s bending. While Princess Yue nobly takes Tui’s place, Aang ends up fusing with the Moon Spirit’s counterpart: La, the Ocean Spirit. Together, La and Avatar-State Aang form Koizilla — a massive being made of blue energy — and they destroy the Fire Nation’s forces.
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4 Aang Takes Out Yakone
The Legend Of Korra, Book 1, Episode 9, “Out of the Past”
In The Legend of Korra‘s first season, the titular Avatar comes face-to-face with Amon — an apparent non-bender who leads an anti-bending faction called The Equalists. Terrifyingly, Amon has the ability to take away people’s bending, which is generally an ability reserved for the Avatar. A flashback reveals that Amon is related to Yakone, a notorious bloodbender who Aang brought down decades earlier. While Yakone bloodbends his way out of his trial, Aang uses the Avatar State to regain control of his body and, subsequently, takes away Yakone’s bending. It’s a pretty epic showdown — even if it does result in Amon’s villain origin story.
3 Aang Manifests Avatar Roku
Book 1, Episode 8, “Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku”
In Book 1, Aang travels to a Fire Nation temple to commune with his previous life, Avatar Roku, on the winter solstice. The spiritual connection the Avatar shares with their past lives is impressive on its own, but what happens next is truly remarkable. After Roku tells Aang about the impending Sozin’s Comet — the celestial event that gave the Fire Nation (temporary) unchecked power at the war’s start — Aang is confronted by Zhao, Zuko, and several other Fire Nation loyalists. Unable to take them on his own, Aang somehow manifests the spirit of Roku, who firebends his way to victory and destroys the temple itself.
2 Aang Restores Korra’s Bending
The Legend Of Korra, Book 1, Episode 12, “Endgame”
Originally planned to be a one-off, single season outing, the ending of The Legend of Korra seems pretty bleak. Although Korra finally learns who to airbend, she loses the rest of her bending abilities to Amon — who’s ultimately killed by his own brother. Feeling as though her whole identity as the Avatar has been stripped from her, Korra is at her lowest point. Alone and upset, a figure approaches her — Avatar Aang. He reminds Korra that one’s lowest moments open them up to the greatest change. With a single touch, Aang restores the young Avatar’s bending — and Korra’s sense of self.
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1 Aang Defeats Fire Lord Ozai By Taking His Bending
Book 3, Episode 21, “Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang”
The epic battle between Avatar Aang and Phoenix King Ozai in the Avatar: The Last Airbender series finale is an epic brawl — and one of the best animated fight sequences ever. Watching Aang enter the Avatar State with ease and manipulate all four elements in order to go toe-to-toe with Ozai is incredibly satisfying. Not to mention, when Aang reveals that he has the power to strip Ozai of his bending without killing him, it’s a truly beautiful moment. Aang saves the world without sacrificing his moral code — and there’s truly no greater display of power.